When I spoke to Brent (the webmaster here at TWR) this morning, I told him I was going to try and find a blog to review which was entirely unrelated to the election. At the time, I didn’t fancy my chances, but astoundingly, this first one on the list, Trolhel has not mentioned George Bush once. Or anything else relating to the real world for that matter.
You see, this is a Dungeons and Dragons blog. They are describing their game as they go along. Now whilst my youth (and a lot of my adult life) has been misspent in numerous different ways, I have never played a game of D&D. However, I used to be involved in similar things as a child – we used to have fantasy game books over here in the UK, I’ve read quite a few Terry Pratchett books and I have even got the Lord of the Rings DVD Special Edition Box set. So what the hell, I ploughed in to the site to see what I could gain from it.
This is a “modblog” blog, which are strange creatures at the best of times. The archives are arranged by single entry in date order, with a little snippet to read on the archives page, or click to just read the whole thing. It is quite a dark and gloomy blog with a picture tiled across the background of erm… a cherub or something. Who knows, maybe it’s a dwarf. There is a sidebar with a helpful introductory thing, a chat box and some external links. Nothing fancy but I guess it does the job.
So on to the content. I found it quite hard to get in to the whole thing really. Whilst I am all for blogs which have a purpose (especially ones that move beyond “I hate/love Bush” at the present time), nevertheless this blog is not that great for anyone who isn’t actually involved with the game. You see the point is that this is a resource for those playing- they can keep up to speed with the gameplay, characters, decisions made, etc. I found a few postings which were links to other sites- cool T Shirts and the like, which opened the blog up a bit, but mostly it is a long list of descriptions about fantasy stuff. Elves, rings, dwarves, trolls, dungeons, etc etc. Whilst the entries are very detailed in terms of the surroundings and characteristics of people, I found it very difficult to get a sense of narrative, of where people started, what the point was of their journey and of where they hope to end up. Maybe I just didn’t read enough or maybe they don’t even know themselves, but I am afraid I just got bored after a while.
This is one of those blogs which is very difficult to score. For those involved with the game or have played similar D & D games of their own, this may be worth exploring in depth. As for me, I can’t see that I’ll come back again- I just couldn’t engage with the storyline enough. Back to my DVD Box Sets I guess.Trolhel